CDC on Halloween: ‘Avoid Direct Contact with Trick-or-Treaters’

Halloween holiday concept during quarantine - vampire with pumpkin and medicinal mask
Marco Verch/Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a Halloween advisory urging Americans to avoid trick-or-treating due to the threat of the coronavirus and COVID-19 and influenza.

In its Halloween health guidance, the CDC urges the maintenance of distance between people not living together. In a section titled “Keep Your Distance,” Americans are instructed to “stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.”

The CDC’s memorandum lists measures to “make trick-or-treating safer”:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

The CDC also offers alternative Halloween activities to trick-or-treating:

  • Hide Halloween treats in and around your house. Hold a Halloween treat hunt with household members.
  • Hold an outdoor costume parade or contest so everyone can show off their costumes.
  • Host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors or an indoor movie night with your household members.
  • Go on an outdoor Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch or orchard. Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, pumpkins, or apples.
  • Go to a one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze.

Children should sanitize their hands after touching objects and other people while trick-or-treating, according to the CDC’s “Wash Your Hands” section:

• Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching
objects or other people.
• Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20
seconds when you get home and before you eat any
treats.

The CDC’s advisory features cartoon children wearing masks matching their Halloween-themed costumes.

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